Q&A: The Killers November 17,2005

 Herald Sun  

CAMERON ADAMS talks to Brandon Flowers of the Killers about hanging with Elton John, Noel Gallagher and U2, but not Morrissey

You're winding up the Hot Fuss project. Are there any complaints about how it's gone?
No complaints at all. I feel as if we've had a whole career happen in one record. It kind of scares me. We've had an Anton Corbijn video, a Grammy nomination, we've sold six million records... It's always been a dream of ours to have an Anton video and it came true. Just that is enough. The single (All These Things That I've Done) could flop for all I care, but we'll always have that video.

Why did you get to play only one song at Live8?
We were only alloted one song (All These Things That I've Done). I think we made a bigger impact with that one song than other people made with three. It's a special song. We got to be on the same stage as Paul McCartney, REM, U2, Pink Floyd.

You're in a good job for meeting your heroes. Who's left?
Only a few. I got to sing with New Order in Ireland. They don't get a lot of credit, but they've written such good songs for such a long time. Everybody makes a big fuss about Love Will Tear Us Apart, they've kind of surpassed that in my eyes. To do a song like Crystal after 20 years...

Did you get to use Bernard from New Order's autocue?
I had to use it. I messed up a chorus. I was really nervous. We played to a crowd three times the size of theirs that day. It didn't faze me. Put me up with New Order and it's like the first time I'd ever been on stage. They could tell I was nervous. Bernard said 'Don't worry, Brandon, I've got the lyrics on screen up front - it'll be easy.'

They're obviously an influence?
They're fans of ours. I said, "That's because we rip you off". They're music-lovers. Peter Hook plays some of our B-sides when he DJs.

Liam Gallagher of Oasis has slagged off the Killers this year.
Liam's a dick. Everyone knows that. Noel's cool. He loves us. I do love Liam for that reason, the way he goes off about people. I've always been a fan of Noel's voice, of Noel in general Everyone talks about how Liam could sing the phone book and it'd be great, and he does have a distinctive voice, but there's something endearing about Noel's voice. Liam has a cool voice, but Noel can touch you. It's more human.

You're a huge fan of Morrissey. The Killers supported him this year. Did you get to meet him?
He watched us soundcheck, that's it. His band were really nice. Morrissey lived up to his reputation. I'd already met him a few years before when I was a busboy bussing his table.

Was he all right then?
No. So he'd already done me wrong. It's tough, he has really freaky fans. I'd probably be the same as him. Unless you're in his shoes you don't know just how crazy his fans are.

You've made some impressive videos for this album. Are you going to release them?
We're going to wait. When Morrissey came out with a compilation of all his videos, he waited 'til he'd earned it. I understand you should take advantage and make a DVD and sell 200,000 copies and put money in our pocket, but you can't top the excitement I had buying that first DVD of Morrissey after 20 years. I'd like to make our fans have that excitement.

Four years ago you scalped tickets to see U2 in Vegas, now you've supported them.
Amazing. I was in the heart (front section) at the Elevation tour. Going from there, scalping a ticket to see that to being up on the stage before them... amazing. I consider them the four wise men. You want to listen to everything they say. I learned so much from watching them every night. They've got the shoe down. A lot of people haven't. When you're on the level they're on it's so important. They take it to another level and people appreciate it. I appreciate it. You learn how to be a showman, why their songs work in such big venues.

Tell me about other "pinch me" moments you've had.
Noel (Gallagher) was telling me how he'd learned All These Things That I've Done. It wasn't even three years ago I was sitting on my bed learning Oasis songs. To think it's come full circle: I could quit now and I'd have things like that to make me fulfilled.

You're an ambitious band. You've always wanted to play in stadiums?
Maybe cool bands never got big enough to play in stadiums. Bands like Matchbox 20 and Creed did. If the Beatles were around they'd play in stadiums. If you just want to play at small shows, what are you going to do? Stay in the one town for 15 nights? I still love playing in dirty, sweaty small places, but I'd love to have 15 hits and go and play in a stadium.

Does the fuss over your being a Mormon surprise you?
I knew that'd happen. Bob Dylan said "You can't be Jewish and be cool, and you can't be Mormon and be cool". So I've always had that there. I don't preach about the church or anything.

You got married this year. There was talk you were going to invite Elton John to the wedding.
We ended up getting married on the beach. Elton would have come had it been in Vegas. We ended up just doing a simple thing. He's a great guy, the world owes him a lot. You'll be around Elton and he'll run in and say, 'You have to hear this' and he plays some new band you've never heard of. He loves Scissor Sisters, Rufus Wainwright, Kings of Leon.

Would you record with Elton?
I'd love to. Right now we have to establish ourselves as the Killers. After that, I'm game. We're excited about making a new album, about playing the new songs, putting on a new show. We're going to up the ante. The world wants it. They want a big show, a big tour, something exciting. We're going to try to be that band.